Friend of Pope Francis: ‘What Happened in America Hurt Him’

When Pope Francis comes to Philadelphia, friend and former colleague Silvia Tuozzo expects he may bring a “healing message” that addresses deep wounds left by the priest sex abuse scandal.

Before he was elected pope, Tuozzo was hired by Father Jorge Bergoglio in 2007 to help run the television station for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She saw him or spoke with him almost daily.

“What happened in America hurt him as a priest,” Tuozzo said from a balcony in the center of Buenos Aires that looks out over the Cathedral where Archbishop Bergoglio said Mass and served the people of his homeland.

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Although he was a stern boss who rarely smiled, according to Tuozzo, the themes you hear Pope Francis talk about when he visits Philadelphia the last weekend of September, will be themes he has believed in and preached about for years.

"He has always spoken about a God of mercy. Since the first day. He really believes in a God of mercy. He really believes in love; love as healing. And I think he understands the pain in people," Tuozzo said. “I think he needs to heal the people [in the United States] and I think he will go with a healing program to America."

NBC10’s Jim Rosenfield went to the homeland of Father Jorge to learn first-hand from friends, colleagues and critics about the man who became Pope Francis.

Watch our half-hour report on Pope Francis: The People’s Pope.
 

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